Authors, Social Networking and Ethics
Mitali Perkins shares some of her thoughts on social networks on her blog:
Writers don’t like to admit the growing amount of time we’re spending on social networks. We’re supposed to be in our hermitages, penning the next acclaimed epic, desperate for the muse, with disheveled hair and unshaven faces (or legs). Is it wasteful to invest creative time in Twitter, Facebook, blogs, or other online connectional activity?
As I described my book parties in Palo Alto (about 30 in attendance?) and in Bellevue (40 or so?), two cities where I don’t live, I was struck by how vital Facebook and Twitter have become in my writing career. I’d say 80% of the participants found my event via those social networks.
Creative purists who scoff at social networks as a time-waster need to remember that a writer is only half the dialectic in this business. The other half is made up of readers, and these days young adults make calendaring and purchasing decisions via social networks.
So the next time we worry about frittering on Facebook, tweeting on Twitter, or blathering on Blogger, remember that it’s about getting our stories into their hands, minds, and hearts.
And in another post, she ponder about the ethics a wired author may need to employ:
Readers used to hate or love novels without knowing much about the authors who penned them. It didn’t really matter if we spoke politely, smiled brightly, or even liked kids or teens.
They focused on our characters instead of on our character.
Things have changed in the age of Twitter, Facebook, and blogs. Now readers can follow us and discover if we’re naughty or nice.
But what if teens or kids are following and friending us? Can we be candid out here about our joys and sorrows, failures and successes, passions and opinions? What if they turn to us for spiritual advice or send a desperate direct message that sounds suicidal?